On the eve of the 224th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, more cities than ever have laws that violate them for the people in our country who are homeless. Certain “acts of living” laws seem to violate rights that we were all guaranteed on December 15, 1791. Among them the 1st , 4th and 8th Amendments.
Here in Roseburg in Douglas County, Oregon, we have a couple of laws that fall into this category. The most obvious problem is the one that prohibits camping within city limits. It seems harmless enough, unless you are homeless. This local law basically makes criminals out of the homeless here by making it illegal for them to camp or even sleep anywhere.
Our city council and mayor have been asked to put a moratorium into place, but have not yet responded.
So Happy Bill of Rights Day, unless you are homeless. You might have to wait until next year to celebrate.